Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ruminations on McCain's VP Pick Part II

I really wanted to use this time to talk about Obama's speech in more depth and about the meat of his policy, but this VP pick is taking all of the air out of the room. So, if that was what McCain was going for, mission accomplished.

I wanted to link a really good rebuttal to the experience question, here.

First of all, if you compare Palin's experience to Obama's experience when it comes to readiness for the president of the United States, unless you are a partisan hack, this should be no contest, Obama is more ready right now.

Here's the best explanation I've read as to why:

Yes, if I had been a Democratic donor back in 2006, I'd sure worry about whether Barack Obama had what it took to be president. That was before he took on the toughest political operation in America, before he beat Bill and Hillary Clinton, before he won 18 million primary votes.

Obama's nomination was not handed to him. He fought hard for it and won against the odds. "Qualifications" predict achievement. Once you have achieved, it doesn't matter what your qualifications are. Who cares whether the guy who built a big company from nothing didn't have much of a resume when he started? But if you are applying to run a big company built by somebody else, the resume matters ...

In sum, Obama has more experience than most people who criticize him seem to want to give him credit for. But, Obama's appeal was never about his experience solely, but about his potential. And his achievements since he's started running has shown his ability to live up to his potential.

Palin doesn't have near as a high of a bar that Obama has had to (and still has to) clear, but she definitely has a bar to clear.

One big difference between the two, Obama signed up for it, prepared himself for it, and worked for it. Palin was hand picked for some pretty obvious political reasons.

We'll see if she's up to the task over the next few months as she will come under some pretty intense scrutiny and will be expected to perform at a high level. It's a political risk for McCain, but I guess he felt like he had to take it.

By the way, by all accounts Palin is incredibly accomplished and talented and has worked for all she's gotten. It just doesn't seem she's had the time (she's only 44), the opportunity, or the desire (up to now) to reach this high, this fast.

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